This is one of four kittens who lived at MAS for a week. Records indicate the kittens were housed in FERAL 01, were eating cat food well and would sleep together in a pile. There are no notes indicating any of the kittens were sick, malnourished, or losing weight. All four were killed on July 12 when MAS suddenly determined, after they’d been apparently thriving for a week, they were too young to survive. Oops?:
This cat’s intake condition was listed as “injured” on July 7 but there are no notes that any veterinary care – even an examination – was ever provided. It’s unclear if he truly was injured. Romeo was killed for “time/space” on July 12. Oops?:
Kitten ID 288617 was part of a litter surrendered to MAS. The family was housed in cage number ER 04:
All the kittens’ medical notes are identical and were presumably copied and pasted into each individual record on July 9:
The family was killed on July 12 because three of the kittens had colds:
This would appear to be the kittens’ mother, Mona. Her record indicates she was housed in cage number ER 04, with her litter:
MAS provided no medical notes for Mona so presumably, none exist. (She was not the only pet killed by MAS on July 12 for whom no medical notes were provided.) Mona was killed on July 12 for having a cold. There appear to be no records supporting this claim:
This is Molly, kitten ID 288616 at MAS. She was housed in cage number FERAL 01, just like the kittens who were killed for being “too young”:
Molly’s age is listed on her cage card as 2 months. Her medical notes on July 9 appear to have been copied and pasted from records belonging to Mona’s litter of kittens who were described as newborns and housed in ER 04. Note that on July 9, Molly’s apparently incorrect notes state she has a cold but on July 10, “none noted” appears next to URTI, seeming to reaffirm that Molly was indeed healthy:
Molly, who was apparently healthy and whose records appear to contain notes from a different litter of kittens, was killed for having a cold on July 12. Oops?:
These are two of four pups who were killed despite having a rescue offer to take them after MAS determined they had been exposed to parvo. Note that their “outcome” indicates “transfer – rescue”. Oops?:
Local animal advocates report that the Memphis pound has never once filled all of its roughly 550 cages since its opening several years ago. There are always many empty cages at MAS, yet animals are still killed for space which, like the overwhelming majority of killings at MAS, seems to make no sense.
In the fall, MAS will reportedly bring in Target Zero, a group which has targeted and created zero no kill communities and which advocates for dumping lost cats lacking identification back on the streets instead of sheltering them. Afterward, MAS will reportedly adopt a plan to continue killing pets for time/space (or not) for another 3 years before ending the practice. Killing for being too young/or not, having a cold/or not, being injured/or not and for having a rescue on the way will continue forever, I guess, since none of these excuses are being addressed by the new director. And in fact, she’s signing off on them left and right.
Look, I don’t know if some or all of the animals killed by MAS on July 12 were killed by mistake. Maybe some or all were killed intentionally – despite being healthy or in some cases, treatable, despite cage space being available, despite having rescue on the way – whatever. What I do know is that killing shelter pets is wrong.
Euthanasia to end the suffering of medically hopeless pets who have been given a poor/grave prognosis by a veterinarian is something completely different than killing. It’s part of animal sheltering – a very small part. Words matter. Attempting to whitewash the needless killing, by mistake or by design, of healthy/treatable pets by referring to it as “humane euthanasia” is wrong.
The main focus of any animal shelter should be lifesaving – immediate and responsible lifesaving. If that is ever to be the focus at MAS, it must start with a director immediately and responsibly committed to it. It appears that MAS, as ever, is lacking in this area.
Some in Memphis want to excuse the new director’s killing by claiming “these things take time”. To my mind, that is nothing more than enabling the behavior. I don’t need to wait and see how many more animals MAS puts into the dumpster over the next three months, three years or three anything. Molly is too many. Mona is too many. Romeo is too many. Every pet at MAS who is left to die in his cage or is killed under the guise of “humane euthanasia” when he isn’t medically hopeless and suffering is too many.
How many more, Memphis?
(Thanks Lou Ann.)